In the late afternoon of Sept. 5, celebrities, researchers and others interested in fighting for our health merged at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the fourth biennial fundraiser for Stand Up To Cancer — an event that executive producer Gwyneth Paltrow called a “labor of love for the entertainment community.”
The one-hour event, which started at 5 p.m. in Los Angeles, was aired commercial-free on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. It also aired on broadcast and cable outlets in the U.S. and Canada and was streamed live on both Hulu and Yahoo. (Mike Myers assured the audience of this during his segment when he said technical difficulties wouldn’t allow him throw to next presenter Ben Stiller, who was in Toronto. “Evidently, lightening has struck something in Toronto, because I am doomed never to have a live telecast without controversy,” the comedian said, referencing his time on stage with Kanye West during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina benefit concert.)
While the celebrity factor was high, with Pierce Brosnan sharing his heartbreak of losing both his first wife and then his daughter to ovarian cancer and Jon Hamm announcing that the foundation was working with Ken Burns on a documentary called “The Story Of Cancer,” there was also an emphasis on survivors through videos of ordinary people who persevered against the disease.
Katie Couric hosted a “Digital Lounge” during the event where Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jordana Brewster, Rob Riggle and others interacted with donors through social media and phone calls during the broadcast.
The evening ended with Lupe Fiasco, Jennifer Hudson and Common offering their version of an attack against cancer: a performance of their song “Remission.”